Tanca Tanca

Housing Glossary

You will find information here on all topics relating to housing in Barcelona


Accrued interest

The interest applied as a penalisation when the debtor does not comply with repayment obligations. The amount must be established in the contract.

Active supermortgage

This allows the client to choose their loan's benchmark index (MIBOR at three months, six months or a year) so that payment can benefit from lower interest rates sooner.

Adaptable instalment

Characteristic of UCI superloans that allow the borrower to not pay one instalment a year for the first three years if there are problems due to holidays, extraordinary expenses, etc.

Advanced cancellation fee

A commission arising from the financial risk involved in the advanced cancellation of an operation. The applied commission compensates the financial institution for its financial losses.


Direct state aid for paying the deposit on a property.

Affordable housing

Group of social housing or dwellings from social renovation projects that are sold or rented at below-market prices.

Affordable rent

The cost of renting these dwellings is below market prices after being included in operations concerning the rented flat pool, social renovation or social housing promotions.


Payment made to repay a loan.

Amortisation period

The duration of the loan. The contract establishes the date of the first and last payments. The longer the period, the lower the payments are, but the higher the interest. You therefore pay more in the end. The monthly instalment should not exceed 35% of your net income.


Estate agent. A qualified professional who acts as an intermediary between the two interested parties to facilitate the signing of a real estate contract, which can be a rental agreement, a sales agreement or another similar contract. They usually charge a percentage of the sales price as compensation or commission.


A citizen who makes a registration application to the Barcelona Social Housing Applicants Registry, and who represents the other members of the dwelling unit included in the application.


Annual Equivalent Rate. Effective annual cost of the mortgage in terms of interest, commissions and the repayment period. To compare loans, it is not enough to just look at the lowest APR, you also have to compare the conditions, the repayment period and the distribution of instalment payments.

Arbitri municipal de plusvàlua

Former denomination of the capital gains tax on landed property.


The value of a dwelling certified by a specialised assessment company, in accordance with the mortgage market law. This certificate not only indicates the real value of the property, it also serves as a reference for obtaining the necessary financing.


Document in which the owner authorises the tenant to carry out building work in the dwelling's interior.

Close glossary

Housing offices only offer face-to-face assistance by prior appointment, so check out the “Housing calls you” service here to receive the most appropriate personalised assistance. If you also need assistance in energy rights, book an appointment with an energy-advice point (PAE) by clicking here. On the other hand, if you reside in an IMHAB public dwelling you can consult our contact, management and processing channels here.​

Can Fabra, a finalist in the 2021 FAD Architecture Prizes

20/05/2021 - 14:45

Housing. The project of the Roldán Berengué Arquitectes studio has been acknowledged for giving a new life to the old factory and for exploring new possibilities with the use of wood.

The project of affordable public rental housing for young people and the space for the Colla Castellera Jove de Barcelona promoted by the Barcelona Municipal Housing and Rehabilitation Institute, built in the industrial units of the Fabra i Coats factory enclosure in the Sant Andreu del Palomar district, has been selected as a finalist in the 2021 FAD Architecture and Interior Design Prizes, one of Europe’s oldest award packages in this field and one of the most prestigious. Specifically, the project of the architecture studio formed by Miguel Roldán and Mercè Berengué has been praised for finding new opportunities and ways of providing housing in the old factory and for promoting sustainability by using wood in their structures.

In the jury’s words, “the project demonstrates how rehabilitation and conservation of the industrial heritage represent an increasingly important challenge for defining sustainable urban planning, with a brilliant solution for including a housing programme in a 19th-century industrial factory”. The project has also been valued for the common spaces that complete this building of 44 homes for young people aged between 18 and 35. According to the evaluation, “the project not only organises the housing units appropriately but defines as a vertebrating element an interior collective space capable of creating a sense of community”.

Towards a sustainable architecture

In the Architecture category, the jury has highlighted projects that find opportunities in transforming rather than inventing, question ways of providing housing and reflect on the possibilities of building materials and systems.

In this respect, the Can Fabra affordable housing project for young people has been recognised for following the criteria of sustainability, preserving and reusing the original structures and using wood in constructing the homes, a material with a very low environmental impact – a fact which, in the jury’s opinion, gives technical coherence and compositional maturity to an exemplary project capable of creating thermal thresholds which favour the passive functioning of the building”.

The Barcelona Municipal Housing and Rehabilitation Institute favours industrialised techniques like those used at Can Fabra in the tendering process of projects for constructing public housing. These techniques permit reducing the execution time of the works and minimise the environmental impact of the building materials.

Numerous acknowledgements

The 2021 FAD Architecture Prize is not the only award given to Can Fabra recently. This year the project has also won the first prize for multi-family housing at the  AIT-Awards, and last year it received the ’Advanced Architecture Awards 2020 and the 2020 Mapei Prize. In the latter case, the jury awarded the first prize to Can Fabra for being a building that incorporates many positive architectural, social and environmental qualities.

Share this content